Much of what we know about the large scale characteristics of the Okhotsk Sea ice cover has been provided by ice concentration maps derived from passive microwave data. To understand what satellite data represent in a highly divergent and rapidly changing environment like the Okhotsk Sea, we take advantage of concurrent satellite, aircraft, and ship data acquired on 7 February and characterized the sea ice cover at different scales from meters to hundreds of kilometers. Through comparative analysis of surface features using co-registered data from visible, infrared and microwave channels we evaluated the general radiative and physical characteristics of the ice cover as well as quantify the distribution of different ice types in the region. Ice concentration maps from AMSR-E using the standard sets of channels, and also only the 89 GHz channel for optimal resolution, are compared with aircraft and high resolution visible data and while the standard set provides consistent results, the 89 GHz provides the means to observe mesoscale patterns and some unique features of the ice cover. Analysis of MODIS data reveals that thick ice types represents about 37% of the ice cover indicating that young and new ice types represent a large fraction of the ice cover that averages about 90% ice concentration according to passive microwave data. These results are used to interpret historical data that indicate that the Okhotsk Sea ice extent and area are declining at a rapid rate of about -9% and -12 % per decade, respectively.